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WWE Rumors: Randy Orton out Longer with Back Injury; Could Require Surgery

WWE Rumors: Randy Orton out Longer with Back Injury; Could Require Surgery

FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images

WWE Superstar Randy Orton is reportedly dealing with a back injury that could require surgery.

According to Fightful Select (h/t WrestlingInc’s Dominic DeAngelo), Orton may miss more time than anticipated, and there is “fear” within WWE that he may have to undergo surgery, which could keep him out for the rest of 2022.

Orton has not been seen on WWE programming since the May 20 episode of SmackDown when he and Riddle dropped the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Usos in a Raw and SmackDown tag team title unification match.

After RK-Bro lost to The Usos, WWE universal champion Roman Reigns joined his cousins in brutally beating down both Orton and Riddle.

Riddle said in a subsequent promo that Orton suffered a back injury and didn’t know when or if he would return, prompting most to assume the back ailment was a storyline rather than legitimate.

If Orton does have to get surgery and misses significant time, it could throw a wrench into WWE’s creative plans this summer.

Last month, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc’s Sai Mohan) reported that WWE was planning for Reigns to defend his title against Orton at SummerSlam in Nashville, Tennessee, in late July.

Meltzer also reported that Reigns would defend against Riddle at Money in the Bank in early July and Drew McIntyre at Clash at the Castle in September.

WWE has already moved up the Reigns vs. Riddle match, as it is taking place on Friday’s episode of SmackDown rather than Money in the Bank.

Riddle has continued his feud with The Bloodline during Orton’s absence, unsuccessfully challenging The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Championships with Shinsuke Nakamura before setting his sights on Reigns.

Orton is one of WWE’s biggest and most popular stars, as the 42-year-old veteran is a 14-time world champion, putting him behind only Ric Flair and John Cena on the all-time list.

Not having a performer of Orton’s caliber for an extended period would be a major loss for WWE, especially if there were plans in place for him to compete in the main event of one of the biggest shows of the year.

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